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Aug 15, 2013

Stonebridge Meadow

Anger at Management of River Kennet recreation site

Marlborough Town Council are angry that there is “no sign of management whatsoever"  at Stonebridge Meadow on the banks of the River Kennet. One councillor claims the site bought for the recreation of residents is being allowed to run wild.

Marlborough's mayor, Councillor Guy Loosmore, announced a showdown meeting next week in response to criticism of the failure of Action for the River Kennet (ARK) to control the open space.

Stonebridge Meadow was jointly bought by ARK and the town council in 2011 and a management plan devised for its future, the council holding 51 per cent of the equity and ARK 49 per cent.

Two members of the public raised their concerns at the start of the town council meeting, one demanding that the council "suspended" ARK's involvement.

And a report by Shelley Parker, the town clerk, pointed to overgrown footpaths, increasing litter, the fencing off of the river frontage, too few cattle introduced to graze the meadow, and the use of nettle killer.

Councillor Bryan Castle, who chairs the council's Amenities and Open Spaces Committee and is also a member of the North Wessex Downs AONB’s Council of Partners, welcomed the opportunity to find out the facts.

"The whole purpose of the meeting is to have an update from ARK as to how they see the management going.  It is clearly a listening session."

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